Sunday within the Octave of the Ascension Ephesians, Chapter 1, Verse 11-12 11 In him we were also chosen, destined in accord w...
Sunday, January 12, 2020
Monday, January 13, 2020
Nineveh 90 for life: January 13, 2020 to Easter vigil (Apr 12)
Whether it’s a Navy SEAL or a Saint, we admire those who put it all on the line — go “all in!” — Those who are totally dedicated to the mission … and God admires them too. Throughout salvation history, we have seen how God responds to this resolute and determined kind of prayer, just as Jesus taught His disciples. It was in Nineveh that the entire city turned back to God and did all that they could, through prayer and penance, to “demonstrate to” God that they were absolutely resolute in this “turning.” God saw how “serious” they were about this, and He was moved (Jonah 3:3-10). This is yet another story that demonstrates how God – a perfect Father – compels His children to be truly resolute and quite serious when calling out to Him.
St. Bernard of Clairvaux wrote,
“Timid prayer does not pierce heaven, because immoderate fear binds the soul so that prayer, far from flying upward, cannot even come out. Being lukewarm, it grows weak in its flight and falls because it has no strength. Prayer that is faithful, humble, and fervent will undoubtedly pierce heaven and it will certainly not return fruitless.”
This is what “Nineveh 90 for Life” is all about. This is a prayer campaign for resolute spiritual “WARRIORS!!” who seek to join ranks with tens of thousands of others in this “Supernaturally Charged” 90-Day crusade to deal the last blow to the culture of death.
Congress is becoming more pro-life, this administration is more pro-life, the courts are becoming more pro-life, “science” is more pro-life, and the country itself is becoming more pro-life. I believe we are on the verge of witnessing an end to the worst mass murder of innocents in the history of civilization. The time is now for us to marshal everything we’ve got to see this through to its completion … to deal the last blow. Nineveh 90 for Life begins on the January 23 and goes until the Easter Vigil (April 20). Special Forces Prayer Warriors (those who join) will be challenged to enter into a period of prayer and mortification. “Mortification,” at its essence, means to “die to yourself.” This will be our time to let go of bad and sinful habits and to embrace better and healthier and Godly habits.
The research in the behavioral sciences says that 90 days is about the time needed to change bad habits. What better time to be resolute then when, traditionally, many take on “New Year’s Resolutions.” Except this will be done with a support system that is tens of thousands of Special Forces warriors strong! We will also be using some of the tried and true very powerful supernatural elements. Namely, the Brown Scapular, 54 Day Rosary Novena, and the 33 Day Preparation for Marian Consecration.
We believe supernatural strength increases to the degree we are detached from worldliness. “He must increase, but I must decrease” was the call of St. John the Baptist. This is our time to “make straight a path for the Lord.” To put aside everything that stands in the way of Christ to fill us up completely with His Divine Life. THIS is the way we become “strong in the Lord and in His mighty power!” God will surely hear and answer this throng of tens of thousands detached from the world and resolute in our plea to end the culture of death. I am certain of it!
“Consecration Day” will be on April 11 Easter Vigil, .
Nineveh 90 – Ten Elements
For these 90 days, resolve to let go of repetitive sin you struggle with (e.g., acts of impurity, over-eating, alcohol, etc.)
1. Wear Brown Scapular (Scapular Medal allowed) – Akin to Sackcloth
2. Daily Mass (If you are able)
3. Confession (at least once a month … immediately following grave sin)
4. Support System: Create or join a “Nineveh 90 Squad” of 3+ people. Maybe create a Facebook group. Also, try to join together with an “Accountability Buddy.”
5. Daily Prayer (Developing a quality Catholic Prayer Life)
7. Angelus (6, Noon,6)
9. Holy Hour (or at least 20 minutes of quiet prayerful reflection time. Does not need to be before the Blessed Sacrament. This is normally done at home or your favorite prayer space … maybe create a “God Cave” in your home)
10. Bedtime Prayers
For 90 Days, Commit to …
· No alcohol
· No desserts & sweets
· No soda or sweetened drinks
· Limit television or movies (news allowed)
· Only music that lifts the soul to God
· Limit televised sports (maybe one per week)
· Limit recreational computer time (only use for personal needs and fulfillment. May be needed for Nineveh 90 too)
· (Basic Training in Holiness) – January 13 (Plough Monday) to March 7 (SAINTS FILICITY AND PERPETUA)
o Prayer Intentions for 54 Day Rosary Novena:
§ End to abortion
§ Personal holiness
§ For the conversion of loved ones.
· – March 8 to April 10 (Good Friday)
· Marian Consecration – April 11, 2020 (Easter Vigil)
Sundays and Solemnities: May be a day of relaxed discipline, but not abandoned. (Sleep in an extra hour, cream in your coffee, a dessert, a beer, etc.)
Fasting: Wednesdays and Fridays (Water/Juice and bread only, if medically allowed, otherwise as is outlined by the USCCB)
Wisdom, Chapter 17, Verse 3-4
3 For they, who supposed their secret sins were hid under the dark veil of oblivion, were scattered in fearful trembling, terrified by apparitions. 4 For not even their inner chambers kept them unafraid, for crashing sounds on all sides terrified them, and mute phantoms with somber looks appeared.
Darkness afflicts the Egyptians, while the Israelites have light. This description of the darkness of the ninth plague is a development of the ideal that true light comes from a pure conscience. For the first and only time in the Septuagint the Greek word for “conscience” occurs. There is no Hebrew word that is equivalent; the idea is expressed indirectly. The horrendous darkness is not extinguished with the lightings of fire that only contributed to the terror.
These three days of complete darkness stretched over the lands of Egypt—not those of the Hebrews, who enjoyed light by day—in the ninth plague. It was so dark that the Egyptians could not see each other. After this plague, the Pharaoh attempted to negotiate the freedom of the Hebrews. His bargain that they could leave if their flocks were left behind was not accepted.
Darkness of the Soul
Understanding conscience is essential for the life of faith. A solid grasp of Catholic teaching about conscience makes it possible to live a moral life. And sadly……a defective understanding can destroy your moral life. This is true darkness! For the beginning Catholic, this is an essential issue to understand properly. And conscience may be the single most misunderstood issue among Catholics today! This topic is important so carefully study the Catechism’s section on conscience.
A natural facility to judge
Conscience is a natural facility of our reason that does three things:
1. Reminds us always to do good and avoid evil.
2. Makes a judgment about the good and evil of particular choices in a specific situation.
3. Bears witness after the fact to the good or evil that we have done. (I.e., having a guilty conscience.)
Conscience is a powerful and remarkable facility that is distinctly human. Understand that conscience is a judgment of reason. It uses the objective principles of the moral law to judge the morality of acts in specific circumstances. Conscience is not itself the source of the moral law.
· This is a common point of misunderstanding. Many who reject Church teaching will say, “I’m just following my conscience.” What they usually mean is that they’re looking to their conscience as the source of moral principles, which is a serious error.
· It’s likely that some other Catholics will challenge you on this point, and you’ll have to defend it. Use the Catechism to defend this point. This article will help you read the Catechism’s section on conscience accurately. Also see the excellent article on conscience on the Catholics United for the Faith (CUF) Web site. Beyond that, Pope John Paul II’s Veritatis Splendor contains a definitive discussion about conscience in sections 54-64; number 64 particularly speaks to this point.
Everyone has a duty to form their conscience. Formation of conscience simply means educating and training it. We do this by learning and taking to heart the objective moral law, as found in Scripture and the authoritative teachings of the Catholic Church. This forms conscience in objective moral truth as taught by Christ and his Church. Practicing the virtues is another aspect of forming the conscience. This not only lets us do good acts, but it trains the will to desire to do good. In particular, the virtue of prudence affects the ability of conscience to judge rightly.
You must follow your conscience
A fundamental principle of Catholic morality is that you must follow your conscience. But be careful: there’s a strong tendency for all of us to distort the full meaning of that principle! We tend to use it as a giant loophole for doing any old thing that we’d like. A well-formed conscience will never contradict the objective moral law, as taught by Christ and his Church. (Catechism, 1783-5, 1792, 2039) A safe way to read this principle is: if your conscience is well-formed, and you are being careful to reason clearly and objectively from true moral principles, then you must follow the reasoned judgment of your conscience about the morality of a specific act. Otherwise, seek reliable guidance in forming your conscience. The principle that we must follow our conscience derives from…
The dignity of conscience
The authority of conscience, and our need to follow it, come from its dignity. Pope John Paul II tells us that conscience is an “interior dialog of man with himself” about right and wrong. It “is also a dialog of man with God”: it is “the witness of God himself” calling him to obey the moral law, and is a person’s “witness of his own faithfulness or unfaithfulness.” This is the basis of the great dignity of the conscience: it derives from its witness to objective moral truth. (Veritatis Splendor, 57-58, 60) Conscience is the means God has given us to make moral decisions. Our freedom demands that we use it: “When he listens to his conscience, the prudent man can hear God speaking.” (Catechism, 1777) But we compromise this dignity of conscience if we haven’t formed our conscience well, or when we do not take care to reason clearly and objectively. Again, Pope John Paul II teaches Jesus alludes to the danger of the conscience being deformed when he warns: “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is not sound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” (Mt 6:22-23). (Veritatis Splendor, 63)
Conscience does not always judge properly. Out of ignorance or bad reasoning, it can judge wrongly. Erroneous judgment is often our own fault, and can have many causes (from Catechism, 1791-2):
· Lack of care in forming our conscience or our powers of reason
· Misunderstanding conscience
· Damage caused by repeated and habitual sin
· Following the bad example of others
· Rejection of Church teaching
· Ignorance of Christ and the Gospels
· Neglecting the work of our conversion to Christ
· Neglect of charity
If our conscience errs and we’re responsible for the error, then we are guilty of the evil committed. We are not guilty for the evil if we’re not responsible for the error. But even if the guilt is not imputable to us, it’s still an evil act. This greatly hinders our ability to advance in the moral life and live in union with God. As Pope John Paul II puts it:
…[T]he performance of good acts… constitutes the indispensable condition of and path to eternal blessedness…. Only the act in conformity with the good can be a path that leads to life…. If [an act is not good] …, the choice of that action makes our will and ourselves morally evil, thus putting us in conflict with our ultimate end, the supreme good, God himself. (Veritatis Splendor, 72, emphasis in the original)
The key to the moral life
The good or evil of specific acts shapes our whole life. We choose God or reject him specifically in the morality of our actions. We must choose to do good in order to choose God, grow in freedom, sanctify ourselves, and let God’s grace work in us to make us “children of God, adoptive sons, partakers of the divine nature and of eternal life.” (Catechism, 1996) Moral conscience is the key that makes this moral life possible: it is exactly how we know what the good is in specific cases, and it beckons us to always choose the good. And even when we choose wrongly, conscience calls us to seek God’s merciful forgiveness so that we can begin again.
Plough Monday is the traditional start of the English agricultural year. While local practices may vary, Plough Monday is generally the first Monday after Twelfth Day (Epiphany), 6 January. The day traditionally saw the resumption of work after the Christmas period.
As we begin our working year let us remember that our primary work in the world as a follower of Christ is to do his will for us putting our hand on the plough and looking forward to the year; may all of our days and rows be straight.
No man, having put his hand ... - To put one's hand to a plow is a proverbial expression to signify undertaking any business. In order that a plowman may accomplish his work, it is necessary to look onward - to be intent on his employment - not to be looking back with regret that he undertook it. So, in religion; He that enters on it must do it with his whole heart, He that comes still loving the world - still looking with regret on its pleasures, its wealth, and its honors - that has not "wholly" forsaken them as his portion, cannot be a Christian, and is not fit for the kingdom of God. How searching is this test to those who profess to be Christians! And how solemn the duty of all people to renounce all earthly objects, and to be not only "almost," but "altogether," followers of the Son of God! It is perilous to tamper with the world - to look at its pleasures or to seek its society. He that would enter heaven must come with a heart full of love to God; giving "all" into his hands, and prepared always to give up all his property, his health, his friends, his body, his soul to God, when he demands them, or he cannot be a Christian. Religion is everything or nothing. He that is not willing to sacrifice "everything" for the cause of God, is really willing to sacrifice nothing.
Climb an Iceberg in Jasper, Canada
Thru January 31
The Canadian Rockies is the place for adventure in January. Besides the predictable winter activities — skiing, snow-shoeing, skating — Jasper in January hosts fat bike snow races, sleigh riding, dog sledding and ice climbing. And that’s just during the day, Jasper’s evenings offer wine and whiskey tasting, food-a-paloolza, live music, entertainment, kids’ scavenger hunts, plus stargazing and northern-light viewing with s’mores.
Ask for the Prayers and assistance of the Angels
 Barnes' Notes on the Bible
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Leviticus, Chapter 25, Verse 17 Do not deal unfairly with one another, then; but stand in fear of your God. I, the LORD, am your God. ...
Romans, Chapter 8, verse 14-15 14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. 15 For you did not receive a ...
Deuteronomy, Chapter 3, Verse 22 Do not fear them, for it is the LORD, your God, who will fight for you. What are the demons in you...
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Ash Wednesday Deuteronomy, Chapter 18, Verse 21-22 21 Should you say to yourselves, “How can we recognize that a word is one th...
EMBER WEDNESDAY-ROSH HASHANAH “For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,...